(Insurify homepage screenshot.)
Insurify (Cambridge, Mass.), an MIT spin-off startup virtual agent, has closed a $4.6 million funding round, led by MassMutual Ventures, Nationwide Ventures and its existing investors, to fuel rapid growth with the aim of transforming the insurance shopping experience with artificial intelligence. The company also announced today the launch of what is claims is the first U.S. car insurance comparison service on Facebook Messenger. Insurify’s patent-pending virtual agent, which is powered by artificial intelligence and natural language processing, is designed to help drivers compare insurance quotes through the messaging channel. Insurify’s bot also helps drivers with discounts and advises on the best coverage and companies for their needs, according to the announcement.
The new funding round brings Insurify’s total funding to $6.6 million. It’s management team is a mix of MIT alumni and veterans from TripAdvisor and KAYAK. The platform provides what the company calls data-driven recommendations, helping consumers compare personalized quotes side-by-side online and via Facebook Messenger. Drivers can also monitor changes in premium costs by subscribing to Insurify’s rate alerts via email or Facebook Messenger notifications.
“Our Facebook Messenger virtual agent experience is faster than any website or mobile app, and easier to use than any online form. It’s a powerful example of how our technology will work on all other messaging services,” comments Snejina Zacharia, founder and CEO, Insurify. “Our vision is to continue to enhance the artificial intelligence and data integrations behind our virtual agent and train the algorithms to pass the insurance licensing exam.”
The company reports that since its launch in January 2016, more than 1.5 million consumers have used Insurify to compare insurance quotes. Insurify claims a more than 40 percent month-over-month growth in the number of customers purchasing policies on the platform, and says it is on track to double this volume in the first quarter of 2017.
Advances in AI and Natural Language Processing
“Insurify represents the next generation of digital-insurance innovation with its intuitive user experience and advances in artificial intelligence and natural language processing,” comments Eric Emmons, Managing Director, MassMutual Ventures. “Insurify has raised the bar in an industry already experiencing substantial technology disruption. Snejina and her team have significant and growing traction with both consumers as well as with insurance incumbents, and are continuing to push the boundaries of what’s possible.”
“We are very impressed with Insurify’s management team and its aggressive execution,” comments Erik Ross, Managing Director of Nationwide Ventures. “Online shopping for car insurance is growing dramatically, and still represents less than 5 percent of all policies purchased in the U.S. Insurify’s leading-edge technology and unique business model support rapid growth and place the company at the forefront of the industry today.”